7 Ways an Enlarged Prostate Can Affect Urination
HealthCentral Editorial Team Mar 28, 2012 (updated Oct 9, 2013)
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What is it?
According to the National Kidney and Urological Disease Information Clearinghouse, enlarged prostate is the most common prostate problem among men over age 50. Enlarged prostate interferes with the flow of urine through the urethra, causing it to narrow, forcing the bladder to contract more forcefully to expel urine.
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Difficulty beginning urination - also known as urinary hestiancy - can affect both men and women, but it is most common in men with BPH. Applying heat to or massaging the lower abdomen may help relax the bladder and the muscles around it and aid urination.
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Because their bladders have grown hypersensitive from forcing urine out of the bladder, many men who have an enlarged prostate will wake up frequently at night to urinate.
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Returning to the bathroom rightaway
Pressure on the urethra may keep the bladder from emptying completely during urination. Combined with the oversensitivity the bladder can develop due to BPH, this can cause men to feel they need to urinate again, even if they've just done so.
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Dribbling after urination
It's not unusual for men to leak some urine after they finish urinating. In fact, statistics suggest that about 40 percent of men over age 40 experience this issue. This is often a symptom of BPH, though it can be caused by other issues, including pressure from a man's pants zipper pushing on the urethra and trapping urine during urination. A urologist can best diagnose the exact cause of this problem.
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Start and stop
A urine flow that starts and stops - called urinary intermittency - is common in men who have an enlarged prostate. However, it can also be a symptom of a urinary tract infection or an injury to the urethra, so it's best to tell your doctor if you're experiencing this issue.
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Straining to urinate
As mentioned previously, men with BPH have prostates that are large enough to put pressure on the urethra, making it more difficult for them to urinate. Because of this, it's not uncommon for men with enlarged prostates to find themselves needing to strain to produce urine.
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One of the most common symptoms of BPH is increased urinary frequency. Increased urinary frequency is also a natural part of aging. As people age, the muscles of their bladder lose their tone and elasticity, reducing the bladder's capacity to hold urine by as much as 50 percent.